GB2 General Purpose Cloth
Simple. Useful. Multifunctional. Versatile. Lightweight. Packable.
These are just some of the words that could be used to describe the new GB2 GP Cloth. GP (General Purpose) was a term we often used in the military to describe something that could be used for multiple things, so it stands to reason that we would this new cloth the same.
The GP cloth will be your new favorite piece of kit for a number of reasons. It is an absolute necessity in hot weather, especially the desert, but also extremely useful for any conditions or environment.
For fire craft, it can one used to gather and carry natural tinder, kindling and fuel. You can process your tinder bundle over it and catch all the really good fine stuff that falls away while you make your bundle. In an emergency, you could use it for making charcloth, but I recommend you char natural material instead and don’t sacrifice your gear for that.
Supplement your shelter kit by using it as a shade for your head in hot weather, or to wrap around your face to protect from blowing sand (similar to a shemagh but much larger). You can also wet the GP cloth and take advantage of evaporative cooling by placing it on your neck and head to help cool off. You could also place it upwind of you to have a nice “swamp cooler” effect as the wind is cooled as it goes through the cloth before hitting you. It’s lightweight and airy enough to use as a cover for your shoulders or wrapped around your waist like a sarong to protect you from the sun in hot weather. It is also great for gathering and transporting duff (leaves, grasses, and debris) for primitive shelters, and to make a small door for hot weather shelters.
It has a number of uses for water as well. Much like a bandana or shemagh, it makes an excellent pre-filter to clarify your water at the source before bottling it or running it through a commercial filter like the Sawyer or Grayl. This will increase the longevity of your filter cartridges considerably. In hot weather, soak the GP Cloth in water and wrap it around your water bottle. The evaporative cooling will actually take the heat away and cool your drinking water. This was a common practice that I learned and used frequently in the deserts of the Middle East.
It’s plenty large enough to gather all the wild edibles and medicinal plants you can carry as you find them in the wild, and the lightweight muslin cloth is airy enough for fungi as well. Use it to cover a tipi smoker to catch the valuable smoke from your fire and preserve fish and game in the field.
Mechanical injuries are common in the backcountry, and you will find the GP Cloth is extremely useful for bandaging and techniques that involve splinting and slings/swaths.
Tie it up in on a tree limb and use it for a flag to get someone’s attention. The color, contrast, and movement make for an effective emergency signal.
The GP Cloth is also great for carrying gear. You can roll up your water bottle and smaller items into it and tie it around your waist for a comfortable improvised “fanny pack”. When used with a blanket pack or improvised pack frame, it is great option for making wide, conformable shoulder straps.
Fire. Shelter. Water. Food. First Aid. Signal. Carrying Gear. This cloth has definitely earned its designation as the GB2 GP Cloth. Weighing in at only 4.5 ounces, there is no reason to not add one of these to every kit.
- 5′ X 5′ GB2 General Purpose Cloth. Weighs approx. 4.5 ounces.
- Fully hemmed edges around the cloth